(Eurypyga helias)


This slim, solitary bird has a blackish, slate-colored head with two white stripes on either side of the face. Its body is mottled, brown with black, and it has some white marks. A long, pointed black and orange bill and red eyes are distinctive.

A Note from the Caretaker

Keep an eye out for these birds, and you may be lucky enough to see an amazing transformation. When they are disturbed or threatened, they spread their wings and exhibit very large eyespots—black, yellow, and chestnut. They seem to be saying, 'See how big I am? You can’t hurt me.'

Quick Facts

Did you know that the sunbittern is named for the sun-like markings seen on its extended wings?

Sunbitterns are found in Central America and northern South America from Guatemala to northern Brazil, and are usually seen on the ground near forest pools and streams.

The sunbittern's diet consists of large insects, small fish, frogs and crayfish.

Sunbitterns average about 18–20 inches in length.

Sunbitterns are not threatened.

Predators include birds of prey, caimans and snakes. Sunbittern chicks and eggs are also vulnerable to small mammals and snakes.

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